Friday, January 30, 2015
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nick toon

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The last few rounds of the #MockThree draft went much quicker than the first four. That’s partly due to the fact that each team has significantly less time on the clock but it’s also because it just feels like there is less weight on your decisions in those later rounds. Or at least it felt that way for me. There aren’t really any guarantees that deep in the draft. Well, I guess there are very few guarantees at any point in the draft, but more so it seems the further back you go. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, it’s probably because you missed the first few posts in this “Inside Our War Room” series. If that’s the case, you can catch up and see how we impacted who the Vikings selected in the community online #MockThree draft by reading about the first round, the second and third round and the fourth round.

Here’s a short recap of who the Vikings selected up to round five:

Round One

1.03 – LT Matt Kalil, USC
Trade – 2.03, 4.03 and 6.03 for Bengals 1.21
1.21 – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

Rounds Two & Three

3.03 – S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

Round Four

4.33 – WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin
4.39 – ILB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada

Pretty good haul so far if you ask me.

If you remember from my post about the fourth round, their were different opinions in our war room regarding which receiver we should select with our first compensatory pick in the fourth round. I suggested we take receiver Nick Toon while our GM preferred taking a different receiver. Kyle, another member of our war room from the Daily Norseman, tipped the scale in the favor of Toon and that’s what we ended up doing. My point at the time was that the receiver Josh, our GM, wanted to take would probably be there at the beginning of the fifth round whereas Nick Toon was less likely to be around. Ladies and gentleman, something rare happened that day: I was correct! Luckily for us, we were able to grab the two guys we wanted and have our third guy fall to us in the third.

Wide receiver is a huge need for the Vikings. Luckily for them, this year’s draft class is deep with players who can immediately contribute and provide more weapons for Ponder to use in his semi-sophmore season. I outlined a few of these receivers (and did some ‘scouting’) who the Vikings could target in later rounds and it just so happens we ended up with two of those players. Nick Toon and…

With the third pick of the fifth round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft…

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Over the past week or so, I’ve done an extensive amount of research into various draft prospects this year. Primarily, I wanted to familiarize myself as best as possible with all the array of options we would have in the #MockThree draft I’ve been participating in. I also just enjoy doing the research because it gets me more pumped for draft day. Hurry up, April 26th! (Speaking of the draft, don’t forget we’ll be having extensive coverage of the draft here at VT including a live chat.)

We all know what the Vikings first pick will be barring some blockbuster trade from Cleveland or Miami – offensive tackle Matt Kalil, USC. The uncertainty begins with what the Vikings will do with their second pick. It’s likely that they will go one of three ways: receiver, cornerback or safety; all of which are definite team needs. We’ve talked quite a bit around here about different receivers the Vikings could target in the first and second rounds. We’ve discussed Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill (yeah!) and Alshon Jeffery.

I wanted to share with everybody some of the research I did on the later round prospects. The people that will probably go in the third round and beyond. This year’s wide receiver class is very deep so the Vikings have ample opportunity to improve the weapons Christian Ponder has this season.

I’ll provide upside and downside for each receiver, some tape analysis and, to wrap it all up, who I would select if I was Rick Spielman. So, if you’re a draft nerd like I am and are groveling for every bit of draft news you can get, join me after the jump to read the rest of this mammoth post.

Alright, back to update you all again on our progress in the #MockThree online mock draft. I’ve touched on it a couple times already (so I won’t again here), but if you missed the first three rounds as well as the general background information on what the draft is all about, use the links below to catch up.

Round One

1.03 – LT Matt Kalil, USC
Trade – 2.03, 4.03 and 6.03 for Bengals 1.21
1.21 – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

Rounds Two & Three

3.03 – S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

After making the Markelle Martin selection at the top of the third, we again had to wait almost two full rounds to make another pick (as a result of the Dre Kirkpatrick trade). And again, it was tough to watch so many players we were targeting fly off the board.

Before making the Martin selection at the beginning of the third, I was pushing for us to take a wide receiver. Let me rephrase that: I was pushing for us to reach on a wide receiver. I had done a ton of scouting on various later-round wide receivers and was convinced that we should take a certain Juron Criner. I really liked Criner’s size and physicality. In watching his tape, he always seemed to come down with the ball and get up the field quickly. Criner fought for extra yardage after the catch and had good hand-eye coordination. I thought it would have been a solid pick as well as address a need that the team had. The GM of our War Room mellowed me out a little bit and told me it would be a reach; that Criner would probably still be there for our compensatory picks at the end of the fourth round. So, we took the safety Martin instead and crossed our fingers that we’d have another shot at Criner with our 4.33 pick.

Juron Criner was selected at 4.25, capping off a frantic run for wide receivers during the fourth.

We were all a little disappointed that Criner didn’t fall just a few picks further. We would have (meaning Josh, our GM, would have…) looked like geniuses! But, alas, we were left without Criner and going back to our board to see what other wide receivers were available that would still fit that ‘BPA’ title and be a good value.

I proposed we take a wide receiver who had fallen a little bit and was still, in my eyes, a great value pick at that point. Somebody who had the size, speed and verticality to stretch the field. Our GM proposed we take a different receiver, one who was a little further down on our board and, while still very promising, didn’t fit the role of a receiver who could be a legitimate threat down field.

So, here it is:

With the 33rd pick (compensatory) of the fourth round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft…

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